A new survey highlighting a sharp drop in support for Israel by young American evangelical Christians has been rejected by the head of a Christian Knesset caucus on the grounds that the respondents are not actually practicing Christians.
The poll, conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina and cited by The Times of Israel, questioned 700 evangelical Christians aged between 18 and 29. It purported to show a growing generational divide among American evangelical Christians in their views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a dramatic drop in those siding with Israel over the Palestinians from a similar poll three years ago. Nearly half also said they voted for President Joe Biden over Donald Trump.
Only 33.6 percent of respondents said that they sided with Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, compared with 75% from 2018.
However, according to the director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus, Josh Reinstein, the results are specious because those polled are likely not even religious.
“This poll, like the many others before it, is misleading,” Reinstein told Breitbart. “It’s not true.”
“What’s happening is that the children of Evangelicals are not Evangelical. They are a lot less religious than their parents. If the pollsters had only questioned people of that age group who go to church on Sundays you would see a far higher show of support for Israel,” he added.
24.3% said they supported the Palestinians compared to just 2.8% in 2018. 42.2 percent said with neither side while 22% gave that answer in 2018.
A similar trend regarding views on the conflict divides young American Jews from their elders.
Almost 45% of young evangelical Christians respondents said they support the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
22.5% explained that the discrepancy between younger and older Evangelicals had to do with younger evangelicals being less knowledgeable about the conflict than the older generations, the report said.
Almost half of respondents admitted to having very limited or no knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
46% of respondents also said they voted for Biden, while only 26% voted for Trump.
20% said that they did not vote at all and almost half — 48.5% — said that they are either Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party compared with 40% who described themselves as Republicans or leaning toward the Republican Party.
This contrasts sharply with a survey conducted by Associated Press VoteCast shortly after the 2020 election which showed that 81% of all White evangelical voters backed Trump, compared with 18% who voted in favor of Biden.
37.5% of respondents said they considered themselves centrist or moderate, compared with 31% who said they were conservative and 31.5% who described themselves as liberal.
“What still remains unclear is whether these attitudes will change as this age group grows older, becoming similar to the views of previous generations (and thus more favorable toward Israel), or whether their attitudes will remain critical of Israel even as young evangelicals age,” the Times of Israel quoted the authors of the survey, UNCP professors, Motti Inbari and Kirill Bumin, as saying.
According to Reinstein, who is also the president of the Israel Allies Foundation — a group that works with the U.S. Congress and parliaments around the world to mobilize faith-based support for Israel — support for Israel is central tenet to Bible-believing Christianity.
“If you believe in the Bible, you will almost always stand with the stand of Israel,” he told Breitbart. “Evangelical Christians believe that the covenant between God and Abraham is an everlasting covenant, that the Jewish people was never replaced and that one day their descendants will gather back in the land of Israel as was prophesied in the Bible. By definition their theology is pro-Israel.”